1 kg mussels , scrubbed, debearded, from sustainable sources
150 ml quality cider
2 tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt
½-1 loaf of rustic bread or ciabatta
1 clove of garlic
extra virgin olive oil
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Peel and finely slice the garlic, pick and roughly chop the herbs, and finely slice the bacon.
Slice the bread 2cm thick, then toast on a hot griddle, in the toaster or under a hot grill.
Meanwhile, heat a lug of olive oil in a large pan on a high heat, add the bacon and cook for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crispy, stirring regularly. Scoop out and reserve the bacon, leaving the flavoured fat behind in the pan.
Check the mussels – if any of them are open just give them a little tap and they should close; if they don’t they’re no good to eat so chuck those ones away.
Tip the mussels into the hot pan with the garlic, cider and a good lug of olive oil. Cover with a lid and leave to steam for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mussels have opened and are soft, juicy and delicious, shaking the pan occasionally.
Meanwhile, halve the garlic clove and rub the hot toasts all over with the cut side, then drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil and arrange around the edge of a serving platter.
When all of the mussels have opened, they’re ready – transfer them to the platter, leaving the juices behind in the pan. If any of the mussels remain closed, throw them away, they’re no good.
Stir the yoghurt into the pan, bring to the boil and leave to bubble away for a couple of minutes. Add most of the herbs and a little of the bacon, then have a taste and season with black pepper.
Give the pan a jiggle then pour the sauce over the mussels. Scatter over the remaining herbs and bacon, then bang the platter in the middle of the table and tuck in.
Pick the first mussel out of the shell and enjoy it, then use that shell as pincers to eat the rest, chucking the empty shells into another bowl.